A childhood cancer survivor has qualified as a nurse after being inspired by her own care – and now works with the same medic who helped save her life nearly 20 years ago.
Clara Markiewicz, was given just a 50/50 chance of survival when she was treated for a rare blood cancer aged just four.
Nurse Kate Pye, 50, was in the room with Clara’s family when they were given the news, and was by her side while she endured months of chemotherapy and surgery.
Kate left the hospital before Clara went into remission – but her care and dedication inspired Clara, now 23, to study nursing at university.
Now the pair have been reunited after they both began working at Great Ormond Street Hospital, late last year.
Clara, from High Barnet, recently qualified as a nurse, and Kate is head of blood, cells and cancer.
Newly qualified nurse Clara said: “During the hardest period of my life, my memories are largely filled with positive things the wonderful nurses did, and Kate was one of them.
“When I was feeling well enough, we would dance in the corridor to the radio, make art, throw a surprise birthday party for my mum, play tricks on the other staff, or I’d get to sit at the nurse’s station – the ultimate privilege – while they did notes.
“It has been a long road to get here, and to be well enough to be a nurse myself, but Kate has played a massive part in encouraging and motivating me to keep going throughout my training and now as a newly qualified nurse.”
Kate added: “I’m really proud of the amazing young woman Clara has become.
“She has used her experience, and it has shaped her into the kind and caring individual she is today.”
Clara was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) in 2001 after her parents discovered bruises all over her body.
She spent six months living at the Royal London Hospital, where she was cared for by Kate and her colleagues.
Clara was given just a 50/50 chance of survival but a clinical trial helped save her life and she has been cancer free ever since.